Arbat Street mainly referred to in English as the Arbat, is a pedestrian street about one kilometer long in the historical center of Moscow, Russia. The Arbat has existed since at least the 15th century, which makes it one of the oldest surviving streets of the Russian capital. It forms the heart of the Arbat District of Moscow. Initially the road formed part of a vital trade-route and was home to a large number of artisans. In the 18th century, the Russian nobility came to regard the Arbat as the most prestigious living area in Moscow. Almost destroyed by the great fire of 1812 associated with Napoleon's occupation of Moscow, the street required rebuilding. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, it became known as the place where petty nobility, artists, and academics lived. In the Soviet period, it housed many high-ranking government officials. As of 2016, the street and its surroundings are undergoing renovation, and it is considered a desirable place to live. Because of the many historic buildings, and due to the numerous artists who have lived and worked in the street, the Arbat has also become a famous tourist attraction.on.